The African Union and the Government of the Republic of Niger on Saturday signed a host agreement on the forthcoming AU Summit on Industrialization and Economic Diversification, holding November 20 – 25, 2022, in Niamey, the Nigerien capital.
By Stephen Enoch
The AU believes the forthcoming summit on industrialization and economic diversification will afford key stakeholders an opportunity to mirror Africa’s industrial development and aid the continent’s realization of its industrial and economic growth objectives, in accordance with the goals and targets of Agenda 2063.
The summit, which was initially to be held November 20 – 24, 2021 but got cancelled at the last-minute due to the Covid-19 pandemic, will be part of the commemoration of the 2022 Africa Industrialization Week (AIW). It seeks to drive policymakers into evolving business and regulatory administrations necessary to boost private capital flows, absorption and adaptation of ICTs, artificial intelligence, and skills transfer so as to foster private sector growth.
The hosting agreement was signed by the duo of Amb Albert Muchanga, the African Union Commissioner for Economic Development, Trade, Tourism, Industry and Minerals as well as the Honourable Gourouza Magagi Salamatou, Minister of Industry and Youth Entrepreneurship of Niger.
While briefing the press at the ceremony, Amb Muchanga assured of the deep commitment of both the AU and the Republic of Niger towards the successful hosting of the summit, adding that the AU high-level delegation’s mission to Niger well ahead of time signaled the duo’s dedication to physically host the summit come November 2022.
The Commissioner described structural transformation and deeper continental economic integration as determining factors of Africa’s economic future, adding that industrialization and economic diversification would enhance the continent’s comparative advantage as well as competitiveness in an inter-dependent world.
“In the context of Agenda 2063, structural transformation means diversifying the sources of economic growth and sustainable development in a way that promotes higher productivity, resulting in sustained and inclusive economic growth. It also means supporting the development of industries that increase the impact of the existing sources of comparative advantage and enhance Africa’s global competitive position,” said Muchanga.
“Key elements of the outcome will be anchored on upgrading skills by aligning education with the current needs of the labor market, mobilizing financial resources for Africa’s structural transformation, building soft and hard infrastructure including energy, for Africa’s economic transformation, promoting commodity-based industrialization for inclusive growth and sustainable development, deepening continental economic integration, amongst others.’’
Ahead of the signing ceremony, the AU delegation held a series of high-level consultations in Niamey, including with President Mohamed Bazoum and former President Issoufou Mahamadou, the AU Champion on the AfCFTA. Strategic partners in hosting the summit are the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA); the African Development Bank (AfDB); Islamic International Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC); African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD); as well as the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).
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